Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty dons a familiar-looking helmet to portray the God of Mischief Loki while on the ice, tapping the NHL into the MCU.
While the Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot, Gritty, is no stranger to Marvel cosplay, his latest getup, as Loki, will leave you wondering if the NHL team stumbled onto a variant of the God of Mischief.
The monstrous orange misfit of indecipherable species is manifesting as the one and only Loki Laufeyson, as famously embodied by Tom Hiddleston in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The raucous rallier of cheesesteak-fed fan enthusiasm at Philly’s Wells Fargo Center posted a set of photos and a dramatic video showing himself dressed as the Asgardian prodigal son, complete with gold-horned helmet, green robes, and even armed with the scepter the character wielded in 2012’s The Avengers, with the translucent blue Mind Stone affixed between its blades. While no context was given in the social media posts, the images were complemented with the caption “Loki Thiccc,” conceding that, if this is a Loki variant, it’s a slightly corpulent one.
Gritty’s Marvel Tributes
While the Flyers organization started back in 1967, Gritty is actually a relatively recent creation, introduced in 2018, seemingly channeling the same monstrous furry inspiration that made the green Phillie Phanatic a longtime staple for Major League Baseball team the Phillies. However, Gritty has conjured quite a comic-book-centric reputation in his short existence, having previously shown up on the ice dressed as a Marvel character. Indeed, just last year, he made himself “inevitable” by donning a familiar-looking armor and a comically oversized Infinity Gauntlet to play the MCU big bad Thanos himself.
The 2022 Thanos appearance was designed to promote National Superhero Day, on which fans in attendance at the Wells Fargo Center home game that night received a variant cover copy of Avengers #53 featuring Gritty fighting side-by-side with Iron Man. While nothing was specified with the Loki “thiccc” images, National Superhero Day falls on April 28 in 2023, which might indicate that the outfit is designed to whet appetites as a preview for this year’s celebratory, Marvel-centric efforts on the ice.
The MCU’s Most Consequential Variant
Yet, the Gritty photos are doubly fortuitous since the costume’s character is set to return for Loki Season 2, which is set to arrive this year as well. That series follows a variant of the trouble-making, spell-casting brother of Thor, who escaped his main MCU fatal film destiny in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War due to the time-bending events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Season 1 saw this Loki apprehended by an organization called the Time Variance Authority (TVA), which monitors and enforces incursions that jeopardize the “sacred” timeline. Loki’s exploits here saw him put to work under the supervision of TVA agent Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson), where he meets — and falls in love with — a female variant of himself, named Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), who is waging a one-Loki war against the TVA.
With Mobius eventually turned into an ally, the conflict culminates with a reveal that the TVA is run by a mysterious figure called “He Who Remains” (Jonathan Majors), who, himself, is a quirky, innocuous variant of a more powerful enemy called Kang the Conqueror. Of course, anyone who’s been following the hype for the upcoming film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania knows that Majors’ Kang is destined to become consequential, not just as the main villain of that film but as the MCU’s next big bad. Indeed, the character’s very name is featured in the title of the next mega-movie, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, which is scheduled to arrive on May 2, 2025.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to hit theaters on Feb. 17. After that, Loki Season 2 will premiere on Disney+ sometime this summer.
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